Industrial Revolution

Circa 1700 to 1840+

For the first time iron is out of the hands of the blacksmith and into vast foundries that smelt and cast iron and Cast Iron becomes the construction materiel of the age.

Coalbrookdale in Shropshire is the origin of metal working in the early Industrial Revolution.

The Revolution changed the way things were made and included going from hand production methods to machines, iron production processes, improved efficiency of water power, increasing use of steam power and the development of machine tools.

COAL & COKE replace wood and charcoal as prime source of fuel.

IRON & STEAM – Timeline

1698 – The first real attempt at industrial steam power -Thomas Savery.
1709 – Coke used to smelt iron ore, Coalbrookdale – Abraham Darby.
1712 – First safe steam engine was introduced – Thomas Newcomen circa 1712.
1740 – Crucible steelmaking discovered by – Benjamin Huntsman.
1779 – First steam powered mills – fully automating the weaving process.
1782 – Improved and more efficient steam engine developed by James Watt.
1786 – A Watt engine in the Albion cotton mill – London – Richard Arkwright.
1792 – Coal gas for general lighting and heating by William Murdock circa 1792.
1797 – The first true industrial lathe invented by Henry Maudslay.
1801 – Demonstration of steam locomotive by Robert Trevithick.
1807 – First successful steamboat ‘Clermont’ – Robert Fulton.
1825 – The first regular railway services – Stockton & Darlington.
1830 – The Liverpool & Manchester Railway first regular commercial rail service.
1830 – Rail service between Liverpool and London – George Stephenson.
1837 – ‘Great Western’- first ocean-going steamship – I K Brunel.
1843 – ‘Great Britain’ – first large iron screw-propelled steamship – I K Brunel.
1856 – The Bessemer converter developed to produce steel – Henry Bessemer.

The average use per person per day for items 1 to 5 above is about 160 litres per day. So a household with 2 adults and 2 children will use around 600 litres per day.

Agricultural Water Usage

Agricultural usage depends upon the type of farm. For example dairy farms will use about 200 litres per day per cow. This includes water for the animal to drink, water for washing down equipment and water for milk cooling purposes. So the use for a herd of 50 cows will be around 10,000 litres per day. Some crops have to be irrigated which can use a considerable amount of water, but in some cases water can be extracted direct from rivers under license. Some farms have their own reservoirs for irrigation purposes.

Water Use in Brewing

Beer is about 90% water. A beer barrel holds about 30 gallons of beer, which is 240 pints which is around 140 litres. One brewery in East Anglia produces around 230 barrels per day which requires over 32,000 litres per day. On top of this a considerable quantity of water is required for cleaning and sterilising and also for cooling purposes.

Industrial Water Usage

Use depends upon the type of industry. Some examples are. Steel making requires around 300,000 litres of water per tonne of steel produced. But with good recycling practice, fresh water requirements may reduce to 90,000 litres per tonne of steel. Paper making uses considerable quantities of water, anywhere between 5 and 15 cubic metres (5000 and 15000 litres) may be used to produce 1 tonne (1000kg) of paper depending upon the type of paper. Industrial production of food also requires considerable quantities of water.

Commercial Water Usage

Water is required in commercial and office premises for sanitary purposes for the staff working in the premises and also for food preparation where such facilities are provided. Other large users of water are hospitals, laundries, hotels, and restaurants.